Relentless Effort Fueling Sutton-SMU’s Season

Intrastate, conference matchups often bring out the best in the top players in college football. If that is the case, SMU and Cortland Sutton should be poised for a massive week as they travel to Houston to take on the Cougars.

This matchup is not being played up by the mellow star, however. “It’s business as usual,” Sutton said when asked about the psyche of the team heading into the conference tilt. “We’re just approaching the game as like we’re playing another opponent. Everyone thinks its a big rivalry, but around here every game is important because it’s the next game.”

This approach has been instilled in Sutton and his teammates by coach Chad Morris, and is finally reaping benefits with SMU off to a 4-1 start. For Sutton, his humble attitude sets the example for his teammates, showing the same confidence and heaping the same praise on his teammates after a seven-catch week as he did after a two-catch week.

“Our culture is so strong that when we get late in those games and we get into a dog fight, or when we get into the 3rd Quarter and we’re in a dog fight we know we can pull away. We think to our training and fall back on our culture. That allows us to be successful at the end of the game.”

This success is nothing new to Sutton, but he is still approaching each week like he has room to grow. Sutton has focused a good amount on becoming a better blocker in the offseason, and spreading that to the entire wide receiver group – better known as “The Militia”.

“[Chad Morris] challenged us to be physical on the edge. That was one of our goals going into fall camp. Was be physical on the edge. The running backs sit in there and they take heat from linebackers so the quarterback can get the ball out. They pass protect, they come out and block for us on screens. We feel as though, they can do that, why can’t we block on the edge? And why shouldn’t the coaches feel comfortable running the ball on the edge and know that the receivers are going to get their blocks?

“So our thing is, we try to take pride in not just be great route runners,  or just being great pass catchers – we want to be complete receivers.To be a great receiver, you have to be able to block on the edge.”

Sutton spent extra time working on his strength, hand positioning and more this offseason, taking his already complete game to the next level. This has helped SMU become a much better run team to the outside, helping them to the current 4-1 record.

With his continued improvements and relentless attitude, both Sutton and SMU are in the midst of their best season in nearly a decade – and still have time to make a run at the American Athletic Conference West crown.